It’s sort of interesting to read the flow of discussion as this offseason continues. There were spurts of time in which discussion was quite fun to get involved in for the mere fact that there were topics to discuss. Then there were spurts of time in which discussion revolved around merely finding topics to discuss. Such is the flow of discussion in a community eagerly awaiting the return of their show. The return of a show, might I add, that I’m beginning to feel an unusual amount of excitement for. That unusual amount of excitement has always resided in me, but I didn’t take notice of it until very recently.
It’s currently Thursday late-morning in my time zone, and upon waking up today, I found myself thinking a great deal about Book 3. I thought about possible release dates and marketing schemes. I thought about expectations. And once I took notice of my unusual excitement and expectations, I made it a point to understand why I felt that way.
Why was I feeling so good about Book 3 all of a sudden?
I soon realized that it was because I began to notice the excitement and importance of all the details we’ve been told about Book 3 thus far. Since the very beginning, we’ve only been told good things about Book 3 – things that did justice in sparking excitement and optimism for a short while. But why didn’t that excitement and optimism carry on to spark endless discussion?
Well – because people forget. It’s as simple as that. In order to remind all of you why we should be excited for Book 3, we’ll need to wind the clock back to the start of the Book 2 offseason in 2012. Dreaded period, I know, but there was a lot of Book 3 information in that period that may have been overlooked.
Back in October of 2012, Seychelle Gabriel (voice of Asami) tweeted that the first script of Book 3 had been complete and that she’s loving Tenzin in the new season. This doesn’t say much about Book 3, but it does confirm that Tenzin remains a likable character who’s likely primed to receive a ton of development this season.
As a well-known Tenzin-lover, this is great news for me, provided that it turns out true. Character development is always a plus.
One month later, Grey DeLisle took to twitter to confirm that she will be voicing a female bender who is supposedly an antagonist. In case you are unfamiliar with DeLisle’s work, she’s best known around the Avatar community as the voice of Azula.
The fact that DeLisle is voicing yet another female antagonist is interesting since that description directly correlates with Azula. Grey already confirmed that she’s not returning to voice Azula, but could she be returning to voice the descendant of Azula (if she exists)?
After all, Dante Basco returned to the Avatar world in order to voice General Iroh II, descendant of Zuko. Would it be fair to expect Grey to do the same thing?
Either way, it’ll be nice to have Grey return to the show regardless the relation to Azula. Her role as a Spirit was a bit disappointing in Book 2 simply because the Spirit had a very minimal role. My expectation is that Grey’s character will have a larger role this time around, but at the very least, her character will be human.
In August of last year, Mike and Bryan visited a Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles to answer several fan questions. At the time, the Book 2 offseason was still technically underway, so most of the questions asked were related to Book 2. However, the co-creators did mention Book 3 briefly, stating that Lin Beifong would have a much greater role in that season.
Book 2 was a bit of a rough patch for Lin, but she really grew as a character upon realizing her mistakes.
Now that Lin no longer resembles an ignorant, stereotypical cop, her character will once again be likable in Book 3. Not to mention, we should get a look at her backstory at some point next season. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a flash back of Toph made its way into the season.
At the same Barns & Noble event, a fan asked the co-creators whether or not Korra and Asami would ever truly be friends as the series progressed. The co-creators’ response to that question was very promising:
“Yes, definitely! I think it’s cool because sometimes when you first meet someone you don’t get off to the best start, but then later you become really great, close friends, and that’s something you’re going to be seeing more of with Korra and Asami in the future.”
A Korra-Asami friendship needs to happen, and based on what the co-creators have said, it looks like the friendship could occur in Book 3. As quoted, sometimes you just don’t get off to the best start when meeting someone new. Korra and Asami didn’t get off to the best start because they went after the same guy from the beginning.
Even after Book 2 ended, their relationship could still be described as rocky. According to the co-creators, however, that will change in Book 3. Along with that change should be the end of the inner love triangle, as the inner love triangle was what put a strain on the relationship in the first place.
In November of last year, an interview with the Wall Street Journal confirmed that Book 3 takes place just a few weeks after the conclusion of Book 2. One of my biggest gripes about Book 2 is the extensive amount of time it skips after the conclusion of Book 1. There’s no aftermath of the Equalist regime; not even a mention. That’s hardly realistic if you ask me, but it serves its purpose. Mike and Bryan wanted distinctively separate Books from the start, so it should be no surprise that Book 1 and Book 2 felt separate.
Book 2 and Book 3, however, are a completely different story. The reveal that Book 3 takes places several weeks after Book 2 is tremendous news. It’s safe to conclude that the stories of Book 2 and Book 3 are very much linked, aside from the main antagonist. Korra’s decision to release Spirits into the physical world will have repercussions that will be demonstrated in Book 3.
Below is a quote from Bryan Konietzko explaining Book 3’s overall plot:
“A lot changed at the end of book 2 that sets the stage for Book 3. Korra decided to leave the Spirit Portals open for the first time in 10,000 years, so that means spirits can more easily flow into the physical world and humans, if they choose, can physically enter the Spirit World. And you can travel from the North Pole to the South Pole in a matter of a minute. Harmonic convergence was a major event where this crazy spirit energy; we saw it wash over the entire globe and pass through everything and every person, so, it remains to be seen what effects that had on people and the world. There was quite a bit of destruction from the crazy battle between giant spirit Korra and Unavaatu, and Unavaatu did this thing where he caused all these spirit vines to grow, so now there’s this thing where we have this giant metropolis but there’s these crazy jungle vines growing over huge sections of it where these spirit wilds like from Wan’s time have kind of cropped up throughout the city. And now there’s going to be spirits hanging out in those, and so a lot has changed, and it’s only a few weeks later.”
Spirits, Republic City, Spirit Wilds… there’ll be a lot going on at the start of Book 3 and Korra will be at the center of it. It’ll be interesting to see how she handles such a complicated situation, especially without the connection to her past lives.
In February of this year, we learned arguably the most exciting fact about Book 3 released thus far. According to Jeremey Zuckerman, Book 3’s level of emotion will be similar to that of Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s. If you recall, the level of emotion is what made Avatar: The Last Airbender what it is, to some degree. Emotion is what allowed us, as an audience, to connect with the characters. It allowed us to connect to the overall plot. And it allowed us to connect with the Avatar world as a whole.
Emotion is everything, and when the level of motion in Book 3 is compared to that of Avatar: The Last Airbender’s, that’s noteworthy. That builds expectation. That builds excitement.
Several weeks after the big reveal, we received… it.
The Book 3 clip leaked from Netherlands was an exciting time for this fandom. Considering its short length, the clip revealed an unbelievable amount of information.
One scene shows Team Avatar exiting an airship, hinting at exploration this season. Another scene shows Korra attacking a group of earth benders, hinting that the Earth Kingdom could serve as some form of an antagonist. The most intriguing scene, however, shows what appears to be Zuko aboard a red Dragon.
Those are a lot of prominent elements that also made up Avatar: The Last Airbender. In fact, Book 3 appears to have a lot in common with Avatar: The Last Airbender as far as we know. Along with exploration, Earth Kingdom involvement, Zuko and Dragons, we have a short gap between seasons, Grey DeLisle reprising an antagonistic female bender and a similar level of emotion.
It seems as though every piece of information we’ve received correlates with Avatar: The Last Airbender in some way. It’s not a huge deal, as The Legend of Korra is, in fact, a spin-off of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it’s worth mentioning regardless.
Hopefully all of these elements translate as seamlessly in a shorter amount of time.
Last month, I published a bit of inside information from a source I was indirectly in contact with. Just the recap, the source basically said that he understood the flaws of Book 2, but Book 3 would be better. Just to clarify, this was said before Book 2 came out so it’s not like he was hyping the up-in-coming content.
I received a bit of heat for publishing this, as many people deemed this information useless. Make what you want with it; I published it simply because it was information I had. Regardless, we have someone on the inside claiming that Book 3 will be better than Book 2.
I truly hope that’s the case.
Last weekend, Bryan published an image depicting Book 3’s enemy. This was the moment when I consciously stepped back and began to realize that Book 3 could be something special. There was something distinct about the villain that reminded me of characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The image was obviously very blurry, but it reminded me very much of an earth bender – which further piles more evidence onto the idea that the Earth Kingdom will host the antagonist for this season.
Outside from the type of bender, this particular villain truly looks terrifying. He sort of resembles a cross between Admiral Zhao and Chin the Conqueror – the villain from Avatar Kyoshi’s time. From what I can make out, the villain appears to have a long black beard and a small pony tail resembling that of Uncle Iroh’s in Book 1. He also looks broad-shouldered and heavily armored.
In short, he looks terrifying – and that’s a very, very good thing.
In order for a story to succeed, the villain needs to terrify the audience. Just look at horror classics such as Psycho and Halloween. If Norman Bates and Michael Myers didn’t strike fear into the hearts of its viewers, do you think the movies would still be considered classics as they are today?
Outside of the original Psycho movie and Bates Motel, I don’t know much about the franchise. I do, however, know a lot about the Halloween franchise. One thing I’ve noticed is that as the Halloween movies continue, they get worse and worse (not a huge revelation). Some may blame that on the repetitiveness of the plot. While I don’t discount that, I put more of the blame on the fact that Michael Myers began to lose his fear-factor.
As the series went on, costume designers changed his mask a bit, making him look slightly odd. The main theme song was also tweaked, making Michael’s presence less terrifying. There were several other factors that were changed as well, such as Michael’s distinct mobility, and they all came together to produce a version of Michael Myers that had half the flair of the one from the original movie.
Michael Myers lost his fear-factor and the entire franchise ultimately went down-hill. Rob Zombie did come back to revive the franchise, but that’s a topic entirely of its own that I won’t go into simply because it’s irrelevant.
The point is, in order for a story to succeed, its antagonist must be fearful. While Korra will always be the main character of the series, each antagonist will also be the main character of its respective season. In order for a season to thrive, its main characters must thrive. Team Avatar as a whole must be likeable and the villain must be fearful.
Fortunately, I’m getting that vibe of fear just by looking at a blurred image of Book 3’s villain. I can’t wait to get to know his personality when the season premieres.
With that, we’ve covered everything there is to look forward to regarding Book 3. As you can see, there really isn’t a single piece of bad news revealed over the course of the past several years. Every bit of news adds to the excitement for Book 3.
I’m more excited for Book 3 now than I’ve ever been. Are you?